Panasonic's Biometric System Verifies Iris of Walking Person in 2 Seconds

Aug 9, 2007
Lili Mine, Nikkei Electronics
Panasonic's walk-through iris identification gate
Panasonic's walk-through iris identification gate
[ If it clicks, the expanded picture will open ]
Overview of the iris identification system (single unit)
Overview of the iris identification system (single unit)
[ If it clicks, the expanded picture will open ]

Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. Ltd.'s Panasonic System Solutions Company has developed the "Walkthrough Iris Identification System" able to verify a walking person's iris.

Iris identification is a biometric authentication technology that does not require IDs or passwords, which users could forget. Biometric authentication technologies, however, face a challenge that the verification is not always accurate, but this iris identification system features a low verification failure rate of below 1/1,200,000.

The new system is more natural and easy to use compared with existing systems, because it does not require people who are verified to focus on the equipment. Target applications are monitoring systems set at offices and airport gates, through which a number of passengers walk in a limited period of time.

To enable verification of a person walking (at 1 m per second) from a distance of more than 1 m, the company improved the camera composition and developed an "eye position sensing technology" that quickly processes data before the person passes in front of the system.

Multiple units of 2-megapixel cameras are used for iris monitoring. The eye position sensing technology is based on the template matching method and supports high-resolution pictures.

The technology calculates correlation value between the input image and a template image it creates in light of gradation data of the eye area. And it searches for a file that comes up with the highest value.

By hollowing out image around the eye from high-resolution pictures, the technology has lowered processing load caused by higher image resolution and achieved verification in less than two seconds.

A basic composition consists of two systems facing each other, between which people to be verified walk through. A system unit can work alone and meet requirement for space saving if it is set at a position toward which people to be verified approach face-to-face over a distance of about 1 m.

One system unit measures 32 x 220 x 74 cm (excluding projections). Lights are integrated into the system. When setting up two units, the installation space is 2 x 1.6 m, including the distance between the system and the start line from which people to be verified walk.

The achievement resulted from the Development of High Accuracy Human Verification Technologies, part of the Japanese Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications' Research and Development Program of Ubiquitous Sensor Network Technologies started in 2005.